In this essay I am will be analysing how Shakespeare and Duffy present madness in “Macbeth” and “Havisham”. Macbeth is a play by William Shakespeare. It starts off with three witches who tell Macbeth that he will become the king. Macbeth kills the king and becomes king. Macbeth is beheaded by Macduff who was born by Caesarean section which was not considered to be born of a woman. The play was set in the Jacobean era. The Jacobean Era refers to the time in English and Scottish history that concurs with the reign of King James VI of Scotland, who also received the crown of England in 1603. “Havisham” is a poem written by Carol Ann Duffy. This poem is spoken by Miss Havisham, a character in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Jilted by her scheming fiancé, she continues to wear her wedding dress and sit along with the remains of breakfast for the rest of her life, while she plots her revenge on all men. She hates her spinster state – of which her unmarried family name constantly reminds her.
In this section, I will tell you the similarities in Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham. Lady Macbeth and Miss Havisham share some similarities in their madness. For example, Lady Macbeth shouts, “Out damned spot! Out I say!” This quote indicates that she sense that she is responsible for the murder of the king so she hallucinates and imagines that the king’s blood is still on her. Also Miss Havisham says, “Beloved sweetheart bastard.” This quote shows that she still cares for him but she also hates him. This Language device that is used is called an oxymoron. Another Similarity is that metaphors are used in both texts. For example, Lady Macbeth says, “will these hands ne'er be clean?” This quote suggests that she cannot get rid of her guilt like she cannot get rid of the blood on her hands. Miss Havisham says, “Ropes on the back of my hands...” This quote represents her aging, as well as the years spent ‘wringing her hands’ with emotion, anger and nerves.
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